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Victorian NFPs in Hot Pursuit of a ‘Good Life’

24 May 2018 at 7:30 am
VCOSS has adopted the shared vision of a “good life” as the theme of its upcoming summit.

Contributor | 24 May 2018 at 7:30 am


Victorian NFPs in Hot Pursuit of a ‘Good Life’
24 May 2018 at 7:30 am

VCOSS has adopted the shared vision of a “good life” as the theme of its upcoming summit.

In every town, city and street across Victoria people are yearning for the same thing.

Whatever their background or personal circumstances, regardless of their political persuasion (or what footy team they might follow) everybody is united in the pursuit of a “good life”.

“We all intuitively grasp the concept of a good life,” according to Emma King, the CEO of Victoria’s peak social advocacy body, the Victorian Council of Social Service.

“It involves a place to call home, the money to afford the basics and the freedom to live a safe, healthy and rewarding existence.

“It means we can all live together in health, dignity and purpose.”

Victoria, however, is not without its social challenges. Few know this better than VCOSS itself.

Research over recent years has highlighted the struggles of homelessness and housing affordability, the rising costs of living, discrimination against people with disabilities, rampant family violence and the worrying embrace of regressive justice policies as part of a toxic “law and order” debate.

VCOSS reports frontline service providers are struggling to keep up with demand, while also managing workforce pressures and funding challenges. At the same time, those in the pursuit of political advantage continue to attack and demean some of the most vulnerable members of our community, including those who claim income support.

But despite these challenges, King remains optimistic for the future.

“These problems we face are not insurmountable,” she says.

“The great thing about Victoria is that we’re blessed with a diverse and resilient community.

“We all want a good life for ourselves, our children and our neighbours. Together we represent an unstoppable force for change.”

VCOSS has adopted this shared vision of a “good life” as the theme of its upcoming summit on Wednesday 13 June.

The Good Life Summit has keynote addresses from US civil rights leader and Women’s March on Washington organiser Tamika D. Mallory, who will speak about social activism, inclusive policy-making and how people can keep motivated in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges, and Australian Paralympian and disability advocate Dylan Alcott, who will address the gathering about the importance of diverse and inclusive leadership.



The event also boasts a range of panellists including prominent marriage equality campaigner Sally Rugg, Aboriginal rights activist Nayuka Gorrie and Victoria’s three main political leaders; Premier Daniel Andrews, opposition leader Matthew Guy and Greens leader Dr Samantha Ratnam.

VCOSS is billing the Good Life Summit as a forum for debate and new ideas, led by the event’s international, interstate and local speakers.

King says it’s about the community sector “coming together to listen, learn and devise new ways of working together from a base of shared-values”.

With Victorians heading to the polls in November, it’s also a timely opportunity for the state’s political leaders to engage with the community sector, and for representatives of social service organisations to influence the political parties’ election platforms.

“How do we make our society stronger, fairer and more equal? This is the conversation we must be having just months out from the state election,” King says.



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